From the Winery
All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context—vintage, variety or appellation—but never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.
*Products deemed unacceptable (receving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.
The Pinnacle of quality
A great achievement
Often good value; well recommended
Suitable for everyday consumption, often good value
Can be employed
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Discover New Regions for Italian Red
Veneto produces more wine, specifically more DOC wine, than anywhere else in Italy. Of all the DOC wines, the whites of Soave and the reds of Valpolicella are the most widely exported and internationally recognized. Garganega is the grape grown in Soave that generally produces neutral, light and easy-drinking wines. Recently, however, because many growers have planted vines on the local volcanic hills, production has resulted in wines with mouthwatering acidity and complex floral components. The Valpolicella DOC lies inland on the coastal plain of Veneto, where the warmer climate infuses the wine with richness that contributes to its high ratings, according to our Veneto Wine Ratings. Corvina is the key grape variety used in all of the reds from the Valpolicella, Bardolino and Amarone della Valpolicella DOCs. It is typically blended with Rondinella and Molinara—varieties that impart the wines…
Located in the Mediterranean Sea, the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia both experience an arid, Mediterranean climate. High-altitude vineyards located on both islands are the preferred viticultural sites due to their large diurnal swings, which allow for acid retention and increased freshness. For many years, Sicily's reputation was built on the fortified wine Marsala. But recently, Sicily has gained recognition for its quality table wines. The region’s red wines are quite successful, with notable elegance, sweet tannins and impressive balance. Sicily’s only DOCG, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, is a blend based on the island’s most planted grape, Nero d’Avola, and the grapey Frappato. A strong Spanish influence is evident in Sardinia’s wines — Cannonau (Grenache) and Carignano (Carignan) both have Spanish roots. The white Vermentino, which is also thought to be of Spanish origin, is the main variety in the…
The Central Italy Wine Region extends from the western Tyrrhenian Coast to the Adriatic Coast on the east, covering the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria. Tuscany is well-regarded for its Sangiovese wines from the famed DOCGs such as Chianti, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Along Tuscany’s long coastal stretch, Maremma, international varieties thrive. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah have been utilized in super Tuscan blends, according to our Central Italy Wine Ratings. Italy’s landlocked region, Umbria, produces two DOCG wines: Sagrantino di Montalfaco and Torgiano Rosso Riserva. Sagrantino is a red varietal that’s naturally high in tannin; the finished wines usually require years of cellaring in order to be fully expressive. Torgiano Rosso Riserva is a Sangiovese-dominant red. White wines thrive in coastal Lazio, with much of the production based on the…